Selectboard Meeting Notes – Brattleboro Ambulance Rides To Be $1400

selectboard feb 20 2024

The Brattleboro Selectboard set EMS rates and policies, settling on a $1400 cost for a ride in their new ambulance service. Your insurance will pay for most of it, and if you get a bill you can ignore it completely or enter into a payment plan or pay it all at once. It is compassionate, they agreed.

The Town will embark on a search for a new waste management partner, someone who will listen and be responsive, and perhaps take long walks or watch movies together.

Comments | 7

  • Preliminaries

    They start late.

    Hello? Anyone there? It’s 6:19 and we have a spinny zoom wheel, awaiting the host to let us in.

    They start at 6:20.

    Chair Ian Goodnow – my only remark is that Tuesday March 5th is town meeting day – get out and vote, 7-7pm for voting. We’ll have a meeting after the polls close. Voting will be at the American Legion building.

    Town Manager John Potter – get absentee ballots at the Town Clerk’s office.

    Ian – drop ballots off at the municipal center, or at the polo8ing station on Town Meeting Day.

    Peter Case – reminder that this Thursday there will be a candidate Q& A in this room at 6 pm. Also, thanks to Harris Hill for another hugely successful weekend of jumping. A wonderful event. Starting to plan for next year. A huge Brattleboro tradition.

    Public Participation

    David – I’d like to ask that the ARPA item C be taken off the consent agenda.

    Ian – we’ll move on to the consent agenda.

  • Consent Agenda

    A. Building Resilient Communities (BRIC) Grant for Whetstone Brook Scoping Study for Hazard Mitigation – Authorize Application

    B. Engineering Agreement for Pleasant Valley Water Treatment Project – Amend

    C. Disperse American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds

    D. Asian Cultural Center of Vermont Annual Lunar New Year Parade – Ratify Parade Permit

    Potter explains them.

    Franz – I understand the Town manager’s explanation of ARPA but it has been requested by a few to open that up for discussion so I request it be removed from the consent agenda.

    A,B, and D remain, and are so consented.

    Ian – we will add item F tonight – ARPA.

  • A. Committee Vacancies – Announce

    Ian – we had a great suggestion to do this at the beginning of the meeting, so we’ll read through the committee vacancies…. (he reads the list).

    John Potter – if someone wants to apply they should reach out to our office at 230 Main St or look for info online .

    Peter – can someone be the Weigher of Coal and a fence sitter?

    Attny Fisher – they are not incompatible offices.

    Ian – you could be both. If you had the time.

  • Fire Department Monthly Report

    Chief Howard – I’ll do the report but this is our new EMS supervisor Billy Fritz.

    (reads report)

    Daniel Quipp – thanks for the report. I was a little confused by the middle column but I was set right, the middle column is July 1 2022 and the this one starts 2023… they are the same period and see that call volume is up, transports is down and everything is largely unremarkable. maybe there is some way to better label those columns to make it clear what is being compared.

    Liz McLoughlin – build and revenue are getting closer – the machine is working?

    Chief – we are getting more consistent about collecting the same amount each month.

    Ian – the public?

    Dick Degray – to follow up on billing and collection – is that for December or is that for … what would the time period be?

    Chief – July 2023 to Jan 2024.

    Franz Reichsman – if you annualize it out to a full year which is about $900k which is our projection for next year, so we may not be that far off.

    Peter – our collection rate is significantly higher than expected… 87% and we projected how much… anyway, significantly higher.

    Ian – thanks for giving the update and keeping the public up to date.

  • Emergency Medical Services Policies (Billing and Collections)

    Ian – I will hand it over to John.

    Potter – in September of last year, the board approved moving ahead with municipal EMS, and since then it has been implemented and one thing that he’s done is hired our EMS superintendent Billy Fritz who has contributed to the policy and billing. The board gets to weigh in, so this and a response standard coming in the next couple of months… they are the things we need the board to set a policy. Tonight Chief Howard will introduce the topic and Fritz will provide a presentation.

    Ian – Welcome Fritz.

    Fritz – we have to decide on how we will make collections and billing. We have a little presentation to explain the options. We are growing into the transport portion that requires funding. How will we do billing and recovery costs. Ambulance transports are covered by insurance, so we want to recoup from them… to cover operational costs. We have some options. We recommend Option 1 – Compassionate Billing is for Brattleboro residents vs non residents. We’d send a bill and send it to the payer, then to patient every 30 days for up to 5 bills, then it would be written off for resident spa d sent to collections for non residents.

    Option B send only 3 bills. Residents are taxpaying members and non residents are not.

    Option 3 is a string billing model – 3 bills sent then everyone sent to collections regarding of collections.

    The rate options – APTriton suggested flat rate of $1400. Treat no transport would be $110. $150 for paramedic intercept. and $22/mile. We estimate collecting $949,885.

    Option 2 is a fee by call type – flat rate – $1400, or like Rescue -BLS transport $770, ALS 1, $1100, ALS2, $1375. Estimated collections is slightly lower at $855,517. BLS and ALS is frequency of transports. More BLS than ALS.

    Option 3 would be like Keene – BLS Transport $1445, ALS Transport at $1716, treat no transport $110, $28/mile… $973k revenue expected.

    Gives an example with a patient, showing that… the bill is the same to the patient regardless of what we bill. Second example shows what insurers might reimburse. Third example shows a patient with no insurance – full cost goes to patient. Fourth example shows someone out of town being billed a portion of their total, depending on insurance policies.

    The estimated financials for the three options of rates. Option 3 is the highest, 1 is the second, and 2 is the lowest. These do exclude mileage and treat no transport and they’d be in addition to the revenue there. The care bucket is one and the mileage bucket is another. A supplement had been included for services. I hope that explains the different bill rates.

    Potter – thanks, and Chief Howard – the recommendation was the first option in both, and are in the policy, so if you look at page 37, the collections have option 1 and the rates option 1 are included already.

    Ian – thanks for the presentation. The presentation in the backup materials didn’t have the final slides

    Potter – they were developed today…

    Ian – could we add them… so people can see them?

    Chief – we didn’t offer a subscription program – we could do it. Are we double dipping if people pay taxes and get a subscription bill? That’s why we didn’t do it now.

    Peter – I move to adopt the policies as presented.

    Ian – the two things for discussion are the rates and billing…and John says the first options are preferred.

    Franz – let me introduce myself to Mr. Fritz – I’m Franz Reichsman and a retired emergency physician. I have a few different issues – paramedic intercepts? They would go in a smaller vehicle to take over care of EMTs? For who would you provide the service and how many.

    Chief – it would be a service we could offer… if someone called and asked for one, to meet them somewhere. We don’t see it happening a lot. None yet, but it should be there if someone does ask.

    Franz – so it would be a non-Brattleboro squad coming in … an unusual event.

    Chief – the ambulance company would bill the patient and we’d bill the ambulance service that requested us.

    Franz – how did you come up with these and why are the first options the best – some advice about why we should approve this as presented?

    Fritz – there are a lot of options. Like Cheesecake Factory and the menu is so big you need advice. Looking at other municipalities in the area, that would work in this area. Not trying to make money – just cover costs. Looking at AP Titon’s recommendations, a flat rate is best. We are maximizing reimbursements from payers.

    Franz – compassionate vs strong collections?

    Fritz – I think the subscription model – Brattleboro is already paying for services, and a lot of people visit us and are not paying for services, I think that is something for the board to have as a discussion.

    Franz – once thing – $300k of supplemental something on the slide?

    Fritz – how the service was run previously, there were fees charged to the town. There are costs associated with that. Previously the town had to pay for a service and now doesn’t need to.

    Franz – treat no transport aren’t included, so if there were 1,000 that would be another $110k to bill over and above.

    Fritz – that is an option not included in there. There is potential legislative action…

    Franz – if the governmental reimbursed aren’t paying it we shouldn’t expect to see it?

    Fritz – I don’t have the data.

    Daniel – I want to talk about what we will do or not do. I think what you propose is fine, but there may be some challenges to determine who is a resident and who is not. Al along what appeals to me is for us to set rates ourselves and we can do it. What I wanted to be able to do is t fund the service but want to be compassionate in how I bill. I’m not in favor of a flat rate billing of $1400. Option 2 where we have different kinds of calls is more palatable to me. Option 2 would exceed our budget. It involves revisiting these rates annually. The treat no transport fee could potentially be billed for, but we’d collect a very small rate. I ask board members to think about who will be using these services. Most are on Medicare and Medicaid, and we’ll get a specific amount, and we’ll bill for a remainder. Town staff are lucky and in unions. I have a $14000 deductible on my plan. I’d have to pay the full $1400 bill. I would ask we don’t build this on the 13% who have private insurance, and we go with Option 2 and revisit it in one year.

    Liz – Rate Option 2 – I understand you said this was what Rescue Inc proposed, but AP Triton said it isn’t the rate they charged customers. Do you have information about hat?

    Chief – their rates are broken down – they charge for what you use… there can be additional charges for oxygen or … it could get up to $1400.

    Liz – I didn’t think the rate they proposed to us was the standard rate? AP Triton said it was higher for the region than they serve? Calling these Rescue In numbers – this was a space in time. It wasn’t their regular rates. My husband went to the hospital and got a bill for $1400. I question the veracity of those numbers. South Burlington – 12 months to write off something as uncollectible. My experience is insurance will say they don’t cover it and then you argue for months. I don’t know if 150 days is enough. The BS with insurance. So I question that. And what are the Medicare and Medicaid write offs are in S. Burlington?

    Fritz – what that means is there are things you can’t bill over for. There is a fee they will pay regardless of what we bill them.

    Liz – you said residents with a balance may be written off. What’s the process for a write-off?

    Fritz – you can make those decisions?

    Liz – we could establish a panel or… your department?

    Chief – you want 5 bills or bill for a year?

    Liz – yes, but there is procedure for the decision for writing something off. Is it automatic? Or a compassionate gang of 3 to decide it.

    Ian – it is automatic.

    Liz – the deductible is the hard part. A healthy person with an acute episode has to pay the deductible. if you are going to the hospital, the ambulance bill is the least of your problems, so in the world of deductibles, by the time the episode is over you have met your deductible.

    Chief – we did some research today and it depends on your policy, but some high deductibles wont bill for an ambulance. Some will. Depends on your plan. My plan might not, but Billy’s will.

    Liz – we hate that it is a cheesecake factory menu but that is where a payment pal would come in. Who decides what the payment plan would be, and is there a … I’d like to see the $1400 rate with a payment plan with variations for town residents. YOu’d have some understanding of the person who has the high deductible and wants to pay but isn’t covered and might need some compassion for that bill. can these be viewed on a case by case basis?

    Chief – you tell us and we’ll tell the billing company.

    Liz – is the payment plan discounted for town residents?

    Chief – that’s up to you

    Daniel – to Liz’s point… that the ambulance bill is the least of your worries… it is the only part we have any control over. Opion B is an okay starting point. It covers the revenue we need. For payment plans, having a clear policy on that is important, so if someone wants a routine payment plan should be 12 months, or x months, and upon breaking the plan such and such happens. If I get a $1400 bill and insurance doesn’t cover it and I need to pay rent, so I ignore the bill for 150 days I try to do something with the billing company. It’s a tough line to walk. I don’t want to say ignore the bills for 150 days. So I don’t know what to do.

    Ian – I has a summer medical bill. I was offered a payment plan with no interest – pay this much per month for 12 months and it will be paid off. We are talking about compassion, and if that can be in the billing process. A $1400 bill could be life changing, so offering payment plan… the town slowly gets repaid with no interest. The patient can be responsible and not fiscally hurt in the short term. Residents shouldn’t plead with billing agencies – we should present it right at the gate. Not making people beg. That would be my way. I’d hope we could put that in our bills for that. Zero interest and a 12 month payment plan, no matter what we choose.

    Peter – I like the direction. I like that we present an option right away , but need to acknowledge a $1400 bill over 12 months can still be a hardship for someone. Maybe case by case you could say we allow other arrangements, call us. health care is a human right. We run a business called the Town, but we are here to serve and most re elderly and have a hard time meeting these needs. An extra $100 a month is a hardship for many each month.

    Liz – I’d quibble that all elderly have Medicare.

    Peter – this service will largely serve… and yes, some have cushy health plans. I’m concerned about those with $14k deductibles.

    Daniel – our billing provider at work, I see people entering payment plans and failing to keep them… and one thing is just remembering to write a check every month. Can it be direct despot or a debit card – we want to get reimbursed. This is for those whose insurance didn’t reimburse for it. For those that will owe the total cost.

    Fritz – the contract with he billing company – they will accept credit and debit cards. We’ll look into your question.

    Liz – the estimated collections – is it sufficient for our needs?

    Potter – we are not in a full cost recovery situation. If you recall, the EMS presentation showed we aren’t separating out the costs from Fire to EMS – we don’t have a cost recovery goal.

    Franz – if you live here you can decide to not pay at all. There is a way out. We aren’t going to punish people who can’t pay their EMS expenses. My bigger issues is how much money do we need to take in to cover the costs… we can’t line up all the expenses and revenues but we do have some numbers to show us to cover the additional expenses and that’s in the $800-900k area. My concern is where could that break down. Where could we end up with expenses not already built in. It could happen with regards to overtime, and that relates to the policies for calling in personnel when there is excess demand. This is a potentially significant drain on resources. Do we have control over that type of expense? Are we going to meet our expense a year or two from now.. what are your thoughts on that. I’d like to raise a little more than raise a little less. I’d rather go with the $1400. Or we might get financial pressure we don’t want toffee in the future.

    Chief – we thought about call in procedures. We leave that up to the officer in charge. He knows what he needs.

    Franz – how much confidence do you have, or do you have a way to check in …

    Chief – overtime – I’m not very confident – depends on the call volume. I don’t know how many fires we’ll have. COVID – couldn’t predict that 3 would be out with COVID?

    Franz – there is uncertainty.

    Chief – we try to pick a number and hope…

    Ian – public? We are narrowing this. Do we know if there was a drop-off in how much you are collecting after a certain number of months? Once we are after 3 months does the collection rate drop, or is it consistent throughout?

    Fritz – don’t have data on that yet. We’ve made some assumptions.

    David – Option 1 and Option 2 – it says residents may be written off, but you said they will be written off, correct?

    Ian – I think yes.

    David – for non residents it may be sent to collections. Who decides, or what is the criteria. And, one other thought – is the billing company open to payment plans? Not sure the contract will cover that…

    Ian – I am asking that if we want to do that, but not sure we are at the payment plan stage yet.

    Dick Degray – 2nd homeowner in Brattleboro and resident of California – I’m a taxpayer but not a resident. How will that work? If I am here 3 months I pay for things I don’t get to use. You said non residents have issues, but some are taxpayers. Taxpayers should equal residents, in the policy. I agree what David said about write offs. I disagree about the 150 days.. the first 30 days we saw no revenue and it was taking 2-3 months. 150 days – you will go 8-9 months waiting for money. The payment plan I would agree with. Not sure you can set up a number. Hospital re glad to get some money rather than no money. Didn’t hear anyone talking about people without addresses that need services.

    Ian – I am interested in the payment plan. For myself, houses people using the services would be write-offs. No billing address to send it to? I don’t know.

    Peter – that’s part of the bigger conversation. As to 2nd homes, maybe that could be a simple amendment to say taxpayer or resident.

    Liz – my understand is that if someone is homeless and goes to the hospital, a social worker would open a medicaid case for them and have medicaid.

    Daniel – it is fair to point out that people without homes might have medicaid. We have a relatively low number of people without health insurance.

    Chief – Groundworks works with people to get on Medicaid. We’ll get some payment.

    Ian – for residents vs taxpayers…

    Bob Fisher – you could do the “and/or” to add people who are taxpayers and or residents would cover that. Typically resident is more than one factor – a totality of circumstances. Patrick points out it is property tax payer, not just taxpayer.

    Ian – easier than establishing residency to allow both.

    Liz – 3 months is not enough. I liked Dick’s suggestion of 9 months.

    Gary Stroud – I was looking at my medicaid since the enrollment is over since the pandemic, 25k people are now off the medicaid people, which is 60% of Vermonters. They said it would be a month before they could get my enrollment. If you need emergency services, how do you fact it in if people don’t have it. People aren’t going to have any coverage. How are you going to calculate that into the equation?

    Ian – Daniel spoke to that …

    Daniel – if you need an ambulance, you’ll call and get one. Insurance will get figured out later on. I’ve heard that sometime after the fact sings can get paid after reinstatement.

    Ian – MY understanding is that we are using the data we have about users of the service and how we developed our projections. The low insurance is factored in. WE have to keep a close eye on it.

    Kate O’Conner – if you do vote tonight, you have a blanket motion. Could you make it more specific. Also, a reminder, if someone doesn’t pay the bill, someone pays… the taxpayers. We didn’t experience that when Rescue ate that cost. Someone is going to pay that bill.

    Ian – 150 days out on billing and resident option, and option rate for $1400.. the first two, with no motion to amend yet.

    Bob Oeser – one point, we talked about the reimbursement rate for Rescue. The RFP had other costs in it. The AP Triton report had the better numbers. To Daniel’s point. Maybe too late to ask, but while everything depends on the insurance plan you have. I have a good plan and will get a $70 bill. I checked. The Medicare Advantage Care – can we determine the least impact based on the models you take in?

    Ian – is there a sense of a billing rate for least impact for those on medicare, or is it equal for all?

    Fritz – they have standard rates and we will be reimbursed the allowable. People should make sure some state and federal bills impact EMS reimbursement, for now it is a set rate.

    Ian – you gave one example of someone on medicaid and who also get a bill?

    Fritz – Medicare cover 80% and 20% gets billed to the patient. The allowable is the same regardless of what we bill, so if the allowable is $500, they pay 80% of it. Some people have multiple levels. Payers will be exhausted before an end user is sent a bill.

    Ian – we are at accepting the first option in each – billing and collection Option A with 5 bills to 150 days. Then, the rate option 1 would be all EMS at $1400….

    Liz – I’d like to amend the motion to extend the time period from 150 days to 270 days. and to add and/or residential taxpayer to the resident language.

    Peter – do we keep amending?

    Ian – one thing at a time. I want language about the billing and collection will include payment plan options with zero percent interest. That’s where we are at. I think we’ll disagree on rates.

    Peter – I’d like to suggest we do the second rate option like Daniel suggested. Rate option 2.

    Franz – let’s vote on the things we agree on then the rates.

    Ian – vote on billing and collections policy…

    Daniel – can we put in that the selectboard will revisit it annually?

    Peter – yes…review in a year.

    Daniel – the billing and collection policy decision will have an impact on the bottom line,

    Ian – look at each of them in a year.

    John – so we’ll look in a year and a half since budget projections are coming in August.

    Daniel – this starts in July, so a year from then.

    Peter – 18 months is fine.

    Liz – I’d advocate for the rate option 1. Compassionate care kicks in with billing and collection.

    Ian – so billing and collection, other discussion?

    Franz – if we extend billing to 9 months, do we need to send a bill every month? Maybe every other month, or a bit of flexibility.

    Liz – but some bills would be paid during those 9 months.

    Peter – you get bills every 30 days with billing.

    Franz – I withdraw my comment.

    Dick – you are doing a disservice by lengthening this – with businesses you get 90 days. It’s a detriment to tracking money after 90 days. Go to 90 days. It is fair. There is man option for a payment plan. Some will pay. Why cost more in billing? 90 days is a long time.

    Ian – thanks. The billing company is doing it, and if they are agreeable we’d like this as an option. Also, the vast majority of billing will go at medicare and medicaid. It will impact our projections and revenues, but the percentage will be so low. The board a year from now could see if anything was collected after 150 days.

    Daniel – we’d expect the biller- how many dollars are 90 days overdue, how many are 120 overdue? We can get that information. We’ll see how many dollars are sitting uncollected.

    Chief – fine with whatever number of days, but do we want to set a dollar amount – will we send bills for $50?

    Liz – it says $20 but $50 is good.

    Ian – do you want to set one – that’s south burlington you are looking at. Writing off any balance of $50 or less?

    Daniel – if South Burlington says $20.

    Peter – let’s do $25. Be our own people.

    Ian – other questions on billing and collections?I’ll make the motion – Billing policy A as amended – property tax members, 270 days, months bills, write off $20 or less on their own, and first bills get offer to payment plan with 0% interest.

    Potter – fire department?

    Chief – OK!

    approved! 5-0

  • ... and more rate discussion

    Franz – I lean toward option 1 because of concerns of cost overruns. I’d like to collect too much and dial it back rather than collect too little.

    Liz – I favor option 1, then the compassion is up to the Brattleboro resident or taxpayer themselves as to the payment plan and when they terminate it.

    Peter – we have all experienced it..I don’t want to prohibit anyone from calling because the fee is $1400. Option 2 may not mitigate it just enough. Think about not going to the doctor because too the costs of copays and such. In a year we can adjust things. We owe the citizens this thing, and healthcare is human right, and everyone should call if they need care.

    Liz – $1400 fee is allowing the town to collect the money that offsets the fee for those who cannot pay. If we get the most from insurers and payers, it covers much of people who cannot pay.

    Daniel – the 13% of ambulance users have private insurance of varying qualities – crappier plans and higher deductibles are the trend. The 70% with Medicare of medicaid will get a specific amount. We’re trying to cover some of the cost of the hardworking folks who don’t have great insurance. If we find out that rates are too low, then we can recalibrate – you and I will be on that board – we chose this option with the low estimate so we don’t have to set rates so high. Let’s do the people of Brattleboro solid and pick option 2.

    Franz – there is balance point. Another concern I have is leaving money on the table if we don’t bill private insurance companies. There are enough safeguards and no reason to not call an ambulance …. we could make the rate 0. If someone needs an ambulance, call for one. Deal with financials later. No one is going to court or going to jail – call 911 for an ambulance.

    Peter – but that’s not how it matches up with the checkbook. My own family, with a cadillac plan, decided against…

    Chief – AP Triton said to do the flat rate because the only people you help is the insurance company if you don’t.

    Liz – people who need compassion and can’t pay their bill, we took care of that in the billing and collection plan. No one is forced to pay. Bill people on the front end and be compassionate on the back end.

    Peter – if we could bill private insurance one number and others a different….

    Liz – what about the writ-off, if it can’t be paid.

    Peter – but we don’t want to get there….

    Liz – you can’t have you cake and eat it too

    Peter – neither can you.

    Ian – the motion is for the option 1….

    Dick – I didn’t hear how you will vote chair but it is 2-2. What Fish speak about it is a minority of people. You will calll and worry about paying later. So I like option 1. If we do hit a financial snag, we don’t want this total back on taxpayers, so we need as much from insurance as we can. Vote for option 1, Mr. Chair.

    Peter – by moving to a local Fire based EMS and being able to bill on our own… we should be saving money on that premise alone. My point is, no matter what direction we go, we go up and to the right… am I miscalculating that?

    Daniel – the 80%, as far as I understand, here’s what we received in FY24 and some of that was billed in FY23… it is always rolling. It is a rolling period – except for the start up period.

    Peter – so doesn’t it just roll forward?

    Daniel yes – and the board can reconsider if the rates are wrong.

    Franz -the Chief said there is uncertainty about the expenses. My concern is the place we are at risk is financially – it will be a great service with the right people but I’m less confident that we’re going to generate the revenue we’re going to need. People say to me that’s where you can get hurt. There are safeguards to protect people, and we need to protect the time, so do what AP Triton says, get the money, and everything else will work out.

    Ian – I am the swing vote and I am considering it… I think the right move is to go with option 1. We look at it again in one year. We have more financial security for a new program. I don’t see us cutting rates. We don’t know how risky it is to change rates. We are deciding who this will impact in town. I land on Option 1, and consider it as soon as possible in the next year.

    Daniel – I don’t want to be intellectually dishonest – if it was $1400 and we’ll send you to jail I’m against it, but we have the ability to not pay. The vast majority of users are on government insurance and we’ll get set rates regularly. If I use an ambulance and an $8million deductible, I’d sit on that bill for a long time.

    Ian – Option 1, flat rate… as presented. 3-2 Daniel and Peter against.

    Ian – Motion: consider both of these by July 1 of 2025….

    Potter – okay by us.


    Ian – Five minute break!

  • Trash Collection Procurement

    Ian – I appreciate all who have stuck around… Trash collection procurement discussion.

    Peter – I love talking trash.

    Patrick Moreland – I will summarize the materials in the back up. I’m here to seek authorization to procure an RFQ for trash collection and curbside collection. Brattleboro is a little unique. many other surrounding towns don’t have solid waste collection programs, but others don’t take any role in collection. Brattleboro decided to have unified collection and better pricing by grouping all these houses together, and fewer trucks on the road. Currently we serve almost 3,850 locations. Specifics have changed – weekly collection of organics and recycling, every other week trash, twice a year yard waste, and no large items. We have PAYT with paid bags. In an average year we collect 864 tons of trash… this current program has not been the same over the last dozen years. It has changed in substantive ways because of our relationship with Triple T – we collected organics, we did PAYT, and every other week trash collection – it has been evolving. We worked with them to have a productive relationship. Mmmm. So we are seeking a willing partner to evolve with us, a collaborative relationship in solid waste, and that’s why we are asking about willingness to cooperate and interest from…. ….so the other reason we want to do it this way is the bidding lends itself to a clearly defined program, and this program changes. Triple T would like automated collection, by reducing the staff on any given truck, and reducing staff costs overall. That’s coming in the industry. Beyond that, there are other things to look at such as – should NO curbside collection for commercial properties (even small ones) remain?, how often should trash be collected? Two weeks of collected diapers is not something you will be very fond of. Large item collection? If you have something large, it has to fit in the PAYT bag to be thrown away. Triple T didn’t have vehicles for large items. Other hauling services might be able to do it. We’ve spoken to others who can do it. We’ve relied on bags for PAYT, but everyone hates it (liz – I don’t hate it) so there may be other ways to get at the same result. So we’d like to talk with possible vendors about being possible partners on this issue and work with us.

    Ian – questions? Essentially this would … before us is the language of what you’d put out?

    Patrick – not seeking your approval but if you have edits, we’d happy to incorporate that.

    Ian – I want to commend the town staff for including the large item pickup. I brought this to Peter Elwell when I first joined the board. It’s a need that isn’t being provided in town. It can be expensive to be removed. I watch dressers slowly rot and get wet on the road. This is a real place where we could get a contract and it would greatly impact how the town looks. We have a large number of renters who couldn’t pay an extra service to get rid of large items. Other point was….oh… also we heard not only diapers but also people with medical waste. The current system doesn’t work for them.

    Peter – I like being able to lick up large items. I am baffled as to why it hasn’t been [art of the service. It all gets tossed at the bottom of my road.

    Liz – May and October baby. Yes, diapers and medical waste are a hardship.

    Franz – who in town doesn’t know a guy with a pickup truck? Who will hold a couch 6 months to wait for large item pick up day. We should have a contract with a person with a pickup truck … I’m in favor of the RFQ.

    Daniel – it is good to have a public process about this kind of procurement. I hope the timeline allows for a good investigation before the current contract expires. I hear both sides for large pickup items – maybe people in the community could provide that service. There is a reason there isn’t. It’s a volume thing.

    Peter – until then, put things in front of Franz’s house.

    Daniel – He knows a guy with a truck.

    Liz – my husband thinks the dump is the best.

    Ian – municipal trash pickup is one of the only ways some interact with the town, so if we change it we should hear from the public. It is important to relook at these things.

    Nancy – (Fryck) – Nancy would be in favor of large item pickup because I’m the guy with a pickup truck. As to large item, I agree.. the devil is in the details. More frequently than twice a year would be good. Not sure we have enough to do once a month. The area I’m concerned about is who gets picked up and who doesn’t. At first it was all, but then at some point commercial properties didn’t get trash , but did get recycling pickup. Not picking up everyone’s trash has reduced recycling. I personally try to recycle everything – but I had to get two dumpsters and recycling stopped getting picked up, and people couldn’t get to the then-available recycling spots, so my tenants can’t recycle. I tell them to put it in someone else’s house or tell them to put it in the dumpster. Triple T said it wouldn’t cost anymore to pickup the commercial properties because they drive by them anyway. We could have colored bags in front of businesses as easily as a one family or 5-6 family. Stop dumping on those who pay taxes…it feels like a lot of double dipping on those you’ve decided can be asked again.

    Ian – thanks. The RFQ would consider this, or we could later in the process.

    Moreland – we’d have a discussion about changing the scope later- this is about procuring.

    Ian – stay tuned Fryck.

    Gary – It’s not Nancy. I got good news to help you out. Goodwill does e-cycle – laptops and electronics. We take furniture. We won’t take your trash. We sell some and donate some furniture to families in need. I work in the donation center down there. I make sure it is good. I could drop off a list or introduce you. That could alleviate some of the excess out on the street.

    Ian – some good discussion… any more?


    I’m done – they will assign motions and discuss ARPA for a moment….

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